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Feeding of Sheep

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Rural Technology

Sheep are dependent on natural pastures for maintenance and production. Sheep generally live on grazing wild grasses, herbs and farm waste products. Young, tender grasses are relished by sheep. Over ripe grasses are not relished by them. The common leguminous green feeds like cowpea, berseem, lucerne are all relished by sheep, matki, urid, mung, kulthi and sesbania are also good fodder for the sheep. When fed in stall they can easily consume 2.5 to 3.0 kg. of Dry matter per head per day from good quality roughages. Sheep need comparatively greater proportion of protein because of wool fibres which are composed almost entirely of protein. The minerals in feeding sheep are common salt, calcium and phosphorus. Inclusion of bone meal in the ration will take care of phosphorus. Concentrate mixture containing barley, oil cake and wheat bran along with roughage like legume hay is very effective. Feeding of Pre-Weaned lambs Up to 12 weeks of age lambs lactating should be supplemented with creep mixture. Feeding of this creep mixture has given a growth rate of 110-130 grams per head per day up to 90 days of age. Creep Mixture:

Growing and finishing lambs (Indigenous)

a) When good quality fodders namely green oats, cowpea, maize, dub or hays are available, then following quantities of concentrate mixture may be fed.

) When good quality fodders are not available and animals are kept on mature grasses like straws, stovers etc. then following quantities of concentrate may be fed.


Finishing Ration

a) Intensively rearing condition Supply 700 to 900 gram ration having 70 percent concentrate and 30 percent roughage. The composite ration will have 10 – 13 percent proteins. b) Semi-range condition The roughage part will be taken by the usual grazing. During lean period 150 gram concentrate mixture may be fed. Free choice mineral mixture, common salt and adequate vitamin A should be supplied. Adult Sheep :- Free choice maintenance quality fodders like oat, hay, dub grass, maize etc. plus 100 gram concentrate mixture may be fed. Absence of good quality fodder along with straws & stovers fed 400 gram concentrate mixture. Breeding ram and Breeding ewes during last six weeks of Gestation. Feed adlib green feeds like maize, cowpea, dub grass in green or hay form without supplementary concentrate mixture. In absence of green feed, 400 gram concentrates mixture can be used.

Lactating Sheep

a) First 10 days: - Legume hay and curtail concentrates. b) 10th day to weaning: - Feed 250 gram concentrate mixture in addition to adlib legume hay up to 2 ½ months after maintenance allowance is sufficient. Flushing: - About 2 weeks before the rams are let loose with sheep, 200g of concentrate mixture with good quality roughage (oat, dub, cowpea etc.) are given. Intext Questions 8.2

Match the following:

A B i) Pre-weaned lambs a) 200 gram concentrate mixture ii) Finishing Ration b) 100 gram concentrate mixture iii) Adult sheep c) 10 – 13 percent protein iv) Flushing d) Creep mixture.

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